The Self Denial Appeal is The Salvation Army's annual appeal to raise funds for Salvation Army mission and ministry in places where they're unable to financially support themselves.


The Story

It’s called Self Denial because it’s about us sacrificing a portion of what we have and giving it to others who need it more—it’s a call to live more simply so that others may simply live.

The idea came about in the early Army days when an officer chose to go without pudding for a year and give the money that he saved to Army work instead. General William Booth launched the first Self Denial Appeal in 1886, and since 1969, Salvationists have been challenged to give one week’s salary to the appeal. This may be difficult for many people, but the money we give can have an incredible impact on the lives of the people it goes to.


Where Does the Money Go?

The money raised through Self Denial is sent to The Salvation Army's international headquarters in London, and they distribute ALL the money to the places it's needed. There are no administration costs or other bits and pieces taken out – everything goes straight to countries that desperately need it!

This year's appeal features stories of how The Salvation Army has been able to help people through the Self Denial Appeal in Brazil, India, Ukraine and South Africa.


Transform a Life—Transform the Future

The theme of this year’s appeal is ‘Transform a Life—Transform the Future’. This is all about how we can part of bringing about transformation, not just for the future of an individual, but for the communities that they are a part of, when we care for and love people.


Youth Study Series

The Youth Department has produced a four-week youth study series based on the stories featured in this year’s videos. It includes Bible readings and discussion questions relating to the stories featured in the videos and the way lives and communities are being transformed through the work of The Salvation Army. It also includes practical suggestions for how we can see the same transformation in our own lives and communities.

The intention is that the study would be used over the weeks leading up to Self Denial Sunday with young people being encouraged to, either individually or as a group, put aside some money to contribute to the appeal at the end of the series. For groups meeting weekly, the intended start time for the study is the week of 25-31 July, but please feel free to modify the material or the timeframe in which you use it to cater to your group, especially as the appeal runs over the school holidays this year.

The 2021 Self Denial videos can be viewed and downloaded here.